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8/19 TNA Impact: Caldwell's review of Naturals vs. Team Canada, Candido Cup, Unbreakable hype

Aug 20, 2005 - 11:59:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Columnist

TNA Impact Review
August 19, 2005
Taped August 16, 2005 in Orlando, FL at Universal Studios
Aired on TNAWrestling.com
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch.com Columnist


- We opened with Mike Tenay narrating still-shot photos from the Sacrifice PPV. Tenay described the show as "one of TNA's best PPV's ever." Tenay said Daniels will meet Samoa Joe at Unbreakable for the X Division Title and Rhino will challenge Raven for the NWA Title.

(1) Samoa Joe defeated Jerrelle Clark at 2:34. Clark went for a leg trip after the opening bell but Joe fell on top of him and sat on him as if he was a big beanbag. Joe sent Clark to the seat of his pants with a snap mare take over then landed stiff kicks to the chest and back followed by a running knee to the face. Joe caught Clark in the face with a kick in the corner. Clark slumped down then took a face wash followed by a strong running kick to the face. Joe slapped Clark across the chest then missed with an elbow in the corner. Clark landed stiff chops and elbows to the chest, which Joe shook off. Clark charged off the ropes with a drop kick for his brief offensive advantage. Clark went for a top rope moonsault, but Joe simply sidestepped Clark in a calm, casual way. Very nice and very smart. Joe sent Clark to the apron then Clark went for a springboard move off the top rope, but Joe caught Clark in mid-air with a front throw ala E. Honda in Street Fighter. Joe took Clark to the corner and connected with the Muscle Buster before locking in his choke out submission move, which Clark tapped out to.

- After the match, Christopher Daniels hit the ring and attacked Joe with his X Division Title. Joe shook it off and stared down Daniels. Daniels kicked Joe in the gut then set up for Angel's Wings, but Joe back dropped out of the move. A.J. Styles hit the ring and attacked Daniels with stiff forearm blows to the face. Joe charged Daniels and Styles moved out of the way causing Joe to clothesline Daniels to the outside. Joe went to the outside as Daniels retreated up the entrance ramp clutching his X Division Title belt. Styles stared down Daniels as Joe calmly stood outside the ring.

Match View: Joe was impressive as usual even in such a brief match. Looks like TNA is going to set up a three-way match at Unbreakable with Styles finding a way into the X Division match. The dynamic of having TNA's three top wrestlers in the same match should allow for some innovative spots at Unbreakable. Nice beginning to the three-way storyline with Joe taking the "tweener" attitude of just being prepared for whatever is thrown his way.

[Promo Break]

- Backstage, Shane Douglas was eavesdropping outside Larry Zbyszko's office. Douglas said there's a loud argument going on between Zbyszko and Jeff Jarrett. I'm sure they were just discussing who's picking up the tab for Summerslam. Jarrett came charging out of the office demanding a title shot against Raven. Zbyszko said the only way Jarrett is getting a title shot is if Rhino signs off on it. Jarrett said, "No brainer; that should be easy." Jarrett turned around and found Rhino staring at him. Jarrett quickly buddied up to Rhino saying TNA management is deceptive and - for the good of the company - he needs to be the World Heavyweight Champion. Jarrett promised Rhino a title shot if he allowed Jarrett to take his spot. (Monty Brown is still waiting in that line.) Jarrett said he just wanted Rhino to think about the offer. Rhino said, "You can have your title shot...after I beat Raven." Jarrett warned Rhino about the championship committee as Rhino walked into Z's office.

- Mike Tenay explained the set-up of veteran stars teaming with younger stars for the Chris Candido Memorial Tag Team Tournament. Tenay said the pairings were formed in a blind draw.

(2) Chris Sabin & Shocker defeated Simon Diamond & Mikey Batts at 7:01 in a Chris Candido Memorial Cup first round match. Batts and Sabin started things off. Sabin took Batts down with a hip toss followed by a nice arm drag take over. Sabin ducked a clothesline then did a handstand over Batts and connected with a double foot drop kick to the face. Sabin tagged in Shocker, who scored with a flying clothesline after running off Sabin's back. Diamond ran into the ring and took a dual drop toehold from Sabin and Shocker, which sent Diamond head-first into Batts's crotch. The action spilled to the outside.

[Promo Break]

After the break, Shocker was in control of the match as he worked over Batts. Shocker scored with a sling shot elbow drop from the apron to the ring then tagged in Sabin. Batts sent Sabin to the ropes and Diamond tripped Sabin from outside of the ring. Batts sent Sabin to the outside with a head scissors take over allowing Diamond to work over Sabin outside of the ring. Diamond took a legal tag back into the ring and knocked Sabin down with a punch to the head. Batts tagged in and locked in a reverse chin lock to a chant of "Mikey Sucks." Batts knocked over Sabin with a clothesline then tagged in Diamond. Diamond hit two snap suplexes before connecting with a German Suplex. Diamond went for a cover but scored a nearfall only. Diamond sent Sabin to the ropes and Sabin flew off the ropes with a back elbow smash. Both men fell to the mat then Sabin tagged in Shocker. Shocker knocked over Diamond with a flying boot to the face then dropped Batts with a powerbomb. Sabin tagged in and scored with a back kick to the gut before sending Batts to the corner. Batts tried to float over Sabin, but Sabin caught Batts in mid-air right above the top turnbuckle then positioned Batts for the Cradle Shock. Batts was unable to slip out and Sabin scored with his finisher. Sabin made the cover for the win as Shocker held off Diamond.

Match View: Nice opening match in the tournament. Nothing particularly flashy, just solid wrestling. Mike Tenay made mention of Simon Diamond's stable, but they were nowhere to be seen. Also nowhere to be seen was Prime Time Elix Skipper, who was not even entered in the tag title tournament. As one of TNA's biggest proponents, Skipper must have rubbed someone on the booking committee the wrong way to be relegated to Diamond's whipping boy at the PPV and to be kept out of the tournament.

- Backstage, Shane Douglas was with Monty Brown. Douglas said B.G. James finally made his decision at Sacrifice and proved Kip James wrong. Brown said he told Kip that B.G. could not be trusted. Brown said, "But, oh no! We're going to do it Kip's way." Brown mocked Kip James's obsession with B.G. then said he's not doing things the Kip James way, but the Monty Brown way from now on. Brown said B.G. is worthless and weak. Brown said he doesn't care if it's B.G. James, Rhino, Jeff Jarrett, or Raven; he's getting the NWA Title and it's coming home where it should have been a long time ago.

(3) Rhino defeated Sonny Siaki (w/Apolo) at 2:40. Rhino charged Siaki prior to the opening bell, but Siaki sidestepped Rhino and sent Rhino into the corner turnbuckle. Tenay said Jerry Lynn was injured because of Sean Waltman's post-match attack after their PPV match. West said it was the sickest thing he had ever seen in the ring. Tenay said Lynn is back on the sidelines for at least one month with a shoulder injury. Rhino dominated the early portion of the match and locked in a reverse chin lock to wear down Siaki. Siaki fought out with stiff elbows before dropping Rhino with a leg whip to the face. Siaki dropped Rhino with a clothesline then inexplicably did a back somersault roll after floating over Rhino in the corner. Siaki staggered on his feet then Rhino charged with a gore sending Siaki crashing to the mat. Rhino made a cover for the victory.

- After the match, Rhino took the microphone and repeated "gore" several times. Rhino said he would gore Raven and make him bleed. Rhino said he came to TNA for the World Heavyweight Title and no one will stop him from taking the belt. Rhino said he didn't want to wait for the PPV so he challenged Raven to come to the ring. Raven came to the entrance ramp and told Rhino he would pay. Security tried to prevent Raven from hitting the ring. Raven went into the ring as security separated the two sides. Rhino broke through the rent-a-security members and gored Raven for the second time in less than a week.

Match View: Despite TNA's best efforts to put heat on Rhino to give Raven an opportunity to get in his offensive attack next week, Raven looked rather imprudent for being goaded to the ring by Rhino where Rhino outsmarted him. Raven's character is built on Raven having the mental advantage over his opponents and the post-match segment seemed to hurt Raven more than it helped build heat for Raven to get his beat down comeback. I believe Rhino should have saved the gore for later and not "blown his load" during the first week of build up towards Unbreakable. Despite over-exaggerating the severity of Waltman's attack on Lynn, Tenay and West effectively laid the groundwork for Lynn's return where he'll have reason to go after Waltman for the second match in this feud.

[Promo Break]

(4) Ron Killings & Sonjay Dutt defeated B.G. James & Cassidy Riley at 4:14 in a Chris Candido Memorial Cup first round match. To build heat towards Killings and James going against each other, Killings and Riley started things off. Killings ran over Riley with a shoulder block then missed with a kick. Riley tagged in B.G. James. Fresh off James revealing his alliance with 3 Live Kru, the crowd clapped in anticipation of seeing James and Killings on opposite sides immediately after the PPV. The two friends hugged before dancing around the ring. Instead of locking up, they did a choreographed dance number as Don West spouted off that the match is about competing for the respected prize of the Chris Candido Memorial Cup. (Don, check the monitor next time.) Dutt and Riley entered the ring to question what was going on. Killings knocked Riley down with a straight punch and James knocked Dutt down with a straight right hand. Killings grounded Riley with a shoulder wrench before he danced to "3 Live Kru" chants. Riley fought to his feet and shot Killings off to the ropes. Killings flew off with a flying fist smash before tagging in Dutt. Dutt dropped an elbow to Riley's chest before making a cover for a nearfall. Dutt kicked Riley in the knees dropping Riley face-first to the mat. James took a tag from Riley and staggered Dutt with left hands to the face. James dropped Dutt with a kick to the gut as Riley came into the ring and charged Killings. Riley dropped Killings with a fisherman brainbuster suplex. James questioned Riley about his choice of offensive attack then James checked on Killings's condition. Riley said he was going to pin Killings so James answered back with a pumphandle slam on his own partner. Dutt went up top and scored with the 450 splash on Riley before making the cover for the win.

- After the match, James and Killings hugged and celebrated as if they won. Dutt came over and tried to figure out what was going on. Dutt and Killings exchanged a brief victory hug as James left the ring.

Match View: In just the second match of the tournament, B.G. James and Ron Killings undermined the "spirit" of the Candido tournament. A brief dance number instead of a wrestling hold is fine for entertainment purposes to add a little extra over the course of a match, but considering how much time Don West spent building up the competitive nature of the tournament, James and Killings didn't do West or the tournament concept any favors. Poor Riley can't catch a break with his own partner turning on him and Raven failing to show him some love.

[Promo Break]

- Somewhere in the arena, Abyss was with James Mitchell. Mitchell said Abyss will not wait around for a World Title shot. Mitchell said he was shocked when he heard that Bobby Roode was going to receive a title shot at next week's Impact. Mitchell said Abyss is going to get his title shot next week or he will cripple everyone in his path. Mitchell told Larry Zbyszko to put down the golf clubs and do something about Abyss's title opportunity because Abyss is a weapon of mass destruction. (Of course, Mitchell failed to bring up Abyss's title loss at the PPV two months ago.)

(5) The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas w/Jimmy Hart) defeated Team Canada (A-1 Ralphz & Eric Young) via DQ at 9:29 to retain the NWA Tag Titles. This, the 1,040,374th encounter between the two teams, started with the Naturals jumping Team Canada with hard right hands. The out-of-control action continued in the ring for several minutes before Chase Stevens clotheslined Eric Young off the apron straight to the floor. Stevens went to work on A-1 once the action settled down. Stevens went for a quick roll up, but A-1 kicked out. Stevens forced A-1 to tag out after delivering a standing drop kick. Douglas tagged in and drove Young to the mat with a shoulder wrench. Douglas scored with a drop kick then worked on Young's neck with a reverse chin lock. Stevens tagged in and punched Young's left shoulder. Stevens continued to work the left with a crowbar submission. Stevens wrenched Young's left shoulder then delivered stiff forearm blows before tagging in Douglas. Douglas dropped an elbow to the shoulder then walked into a boot from A-1, who was standing on the apron. Young waited for Douglas to turn around and Young dropped Douglas with a clothesline. Team Canada worked on Douglas.

[Promo Break]

We came back to see A-1 working on Douglas some more. A-1 choked Douglas across the middle rope then scored with a neck breaker. A-1 made a cover but Stevens broke up the pin. A-1 drove a knee to Douglas's throat then tagged in Young, who made a cover but scored a nearfall. Young shot Douglas to the ropes and Douglas ducked a clothesline before taking Young down with a backslide resulting in a nearfall. Young went back on the offensive with a scoop slam and knee drop. A-1 took a tag and dropped a leg across the throat. Unlike Hulk Hogan, A-1 was unable to score the pin after the leg drop. Douglas fought to his feet and drove a boot to A-1's face before running right into a powerslam. A-1 made a cover but Douglas broke up the pin attempt. Young took a tag and went for a top rope leg drop, but Douglas was able to roll out of the way because Young took too much time showboating on the top turnbuckle. Stevens took the hot tag and ran over both heels before dropping Young with the Alabama Slam. Stevens made a cover but A-1 broke up the pin. The action broke down into a four-man battle before The Naturals clotheslined A-1 over the top rope to the floor. The Naturals connected with the Natural Disaster on Young. Douglas had the pin for the win, but Bobby Roode hit the ringside area and pulled Douglas out of the ring leading to a DQ.

- After the official decision, Stevens tried to fight off Team Canada until Petey Williams ran into the ring and made it a 4-on-2 battle. Team Canada continued to work on The Naturals until Chris Harris and James Storm of America's Most Wanted stormed the ring and cleared out Team Canada. Team Canada retreated up the entrance ramp as The Naturals recovered to their feet. AMW and The Naturals went nose-to-nose. The Naturals said they didn't need AMW's help. Harris shoved Jimmy Hart so Douglas shoved Harris. The action broke down into your standard pier six brawl as Team Canada laughed from the entrance ramp. A hearty laugh was had by Scott D'Amore's boys as we faded to black.

Match View: The perfect answer to Team Canada laughing at the misfortunes of The Naturals and AMW would be to have Team Canada split into two teams leading to a four-team tag title match at Unbreakable. TNA would be able to create an interesting dynamic of seeing which of the two Canadian teams is more capable of cheating to win. Since Tenay and West mentioned that Scott D'Amore might return soon, TNA could create some tension between the two sides with D'Amore being forced to pick one of the two tag teams to be in the corner of. Alas, that won't occur with the winner of the Chris Candido Memorial Cup sliding into the fourth spot in the tag title match at Unbreakable, but there's always next month.

---

Chris Candido Memorial Cup Tournament Bracket

Simon Diamond & Mikey Batts
----------------------------------------> Shocker & Sabin
Shocker & Chris Sabin

B.G. James & Cassidy Riley
----------------------------------------> Killings & Dutt
Ron Killings & Sonjay Dutt

Sean Waltman & Alex Shelley
August 26 Impact
Abyss & Shark Boy

Kip James & Petey Williams
August 26 Impact
Konnan & Lance Hoyt

Matches announced for September 11 Unbreakable PPV

- Raven vs. Rhino for the NWA Title
- Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe for the X Division Title

James Caldwell writes from Southern California where his DVD selection is WrestleMania 21. Feel free to drop any feedback, opinions, or comments on this week's Impact review to jamescaldwell@pwtorch.com.


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